All over the news these days there has been talks of Texas leaving the Big 12. The Big 10 and Pac 10 both have been salivating at the thought of bringing Texas, its huge recruiting backyard, tons of revenue, and massive popularity to their conference. There have even been talks of independence and standing alone and trying to become the Notre Dame of the South. Texas doesn't really fit geographically with the midwest or the Pacific coast. It doesn't even really fit with the Midland states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, and Iowa. To me there is only one solution....Bring back the Southwestern Conference or SWC.
I think that Texas would be better served if the Southwestern Conference was reborn but only slightly modified. Texas as a state fits more geographically with the four states area which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. So rebuild the SWC incorporating teams from those states. Combine the Big 12 South with Arkansas, TCU, Houston, Tulsa, LSU, and Louisiana Tech. This new and improved SWC would be split in two divisions with the North including: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Texas Tech, Arkansas, and TCU, and the South including: Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Houston, Baylor, and Louisiana Tech. The conference championship game could be held in Dallas at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. This could also vault the Cotton Bowl back to its rightful place as a BCS bowl. The new conference could work out a tv deal with Fox Network who already has a Fox Southwest network which airs alot of the areas games, coaches shows, and historical shows featuring these teams.
The problem might be in convincing the other teams to leave their current conference and join a new one. While I don't think it will be a problem to convince other members of the Big 12 South or the smaller affiliates like Tulsa, Houston, TCU, and Louisiana Tech, it might be hard to convince Arkansas and LSU who still believe in the mystique and glory of the almighty SEC. However, the old SWC was just as historically significant as the SEC back in the day. Arkansas; a former member, left the SWC because they were tired of being the only school outside of the state of Texas. This led to the eventual collapse of the conference. The Razorbacks and the Longhorns were one of the nation's best rivalry games that has since lost its luster due to being in different conferences and not playing every year. I actually attended the last SWC game back in 1992 and remeber the intensity of the game and fans. No one at that game wanted the rivalry to end. Last year they renewed their rivalry with Texas A&M in Dallas in front of a huge crowd of 71,872 people. Arkansas' biggest rivalry now is LSU who also has a long history with the SWC. Texas and LSU have played a total of 17 times in football with Texas holding a 9-7-1 advantage. They have played A&M 49 times and hold a 26-20-3 advantage. Texas and LSU recently played in the College World Series championship with LSU winning the title. These rivalries would be even more intense if they happened every year or every two years instead of twice a decade.
The Big 12 would suffer greatly but could replace these the teams they lose with Boise St, Utah, BYU, Louisville, Colorado St, and Wyoming. The SEC could replace the loss of Arkansas and LSU with Clemson and Georgia Tech. Louisiana Tech plays in the WAC and currently plays a schedule that includes Hawaii and Fresno State so convincing them wouldn't be a problem. TCU and Houston, both former members, have been bouncing around conferences since the collapse of the SWC, so convincing them to join a major conference wouldn't be a problem as well. Tulsa has alot of the same issues as Louisiana Tech; with a schedule that includes Marshall, East Carolina, and Central Florida.
The likelihood of this happening anytime soon is doubtful at best; but to me it makes more sense than trying to put Texas in the Big 10 or the Pac 10. Texas, as well as the other Texas members of the Big 12 South have struggled to find a place where they belong since 1992. The funny thing is the solution was the original problem the SWC.